Surge in scams targeting voters as Election Day approaches, experts say

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Experts are warning about a surge in scams targeting voters as we inch closer to Election Day.

This election cycle has proved to be a goldmine for criminals who are repurposing old scams into election-related ones which sound legit at first glance.

“Every time we get a step ahead, the scammers get a couple of steps ahead. So we’re constantly working to try and shut them down,” said Alex Hamerstone, head of risk management for TrustedSec.

The phone is the primary delivery system for election scams, especially using fake or spoofed numbers.

Many people have page after page of blocked numbers in their phone – numbers that have proven to be from scammers and telemarketers up to no good.

Blocking them doesn’t solve the problem because Hamerstone said, scammers don’t just relay on voice calls.

“Just today I think I have gotten six or seven unsolicited texts messages about issues or asking me to click something,” he said.

If you click a scammers link, and fall for their tricks, your information goes to the dark web.

Although the dark web is a place on the internet that requires special tools to access, it’s a virtual supermarket for criminals.

“You can go out there and buy social security numbers, credit card numbers, names, addresses and financial information,” said Hammerstone.

That’s all the information a criminal needs to steal your identity, your cash and generally create havoc in your life.

Hamerstone said election scams are increasing exponentially.

Here’s what you need to watch out for this election cycle when it comes to voting scams.

Be wary of:

  • Donation requests
  • Election Surveys
  • Voter registration offers

“The board of elections is not going to text you for information on registering to vote,” said Hamerstone.

The internet has tied us all together, meaning a scammer can be next door or thousands of miles away.

“You’ll see a lot of them working out of places where there’s not an extradition treaty so they’re able to operate relatively unfettered,” he said.

The best advice: Be vigilant. Question everything, and don’t give up your personal information to anyone who calls, texts, or promises you something via the internet.

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